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A Bus for All

Such a simple thing as travelling on a bus can be practically impossible for those with a disability. It shouldn't be like that. And it is no longer like that, thanks to "A bus for All".

"A bus for All" is the result of ideas, visions and knowledge within several different fields. The bus is designed with the thought that everybody, independent of disabilities, should be able to participate.

For the visually impaired there are visual interpretations, for the hearing impaired there is a hearing loop and screens with sign interpreters and for those suffering allergies all the materials in the bus have been selected very carefully.

And for the disabled, Liko has developed a unique solution, an overhead lift in a traverse system, enabling them to move along the entire bus, and also to the toilet.

One of those who have travelled with the bus is 73 year-old Ingvar Björk, who is wheelchair bound. During his time as a member of parliament (1982-1994), Ingvar travelled a lot, something that has become increasingly difficult, with his mobility decreasing and his dependancy on a wheelchair. 

– Ever since ”A bus for All” was introduced, I have travelled to Denmark, Gripsholm Castle and to Gothenburg. It has worked excellently, says Invar. There is no question that the solution works and is needed.

Berth Nilsson, who has conducted the project of developing the bus for the owner Ädelfors Buss, says that during the summer of 2006 they lifted more than 160 patients and performed a total of more than 2000 lifts.

– We are very satisfied with the lift, it is such a nice thing to see what it means to a person who has not been able to travel before, says Berth.

When we speak with Anne-Marie Wiklund, the importance of the lift is confirmed. Anne-Marie is 78 years old and wheelchair bound. When she and her now late husband were younger, they travelled around the entire country in their car, something that has been all but impossible lately.

– It is quite fantastic, it is sheer pleasure to travel with the bus. With the help of the lift, I can now even go to the loo, which has never been possible before, says Anne-Marie Wiklund happily.

The solution with an overhead lift in a traverse system is unique in its kind and Liko is first in the world in developing such a well-functioning solution. Even if this system cannot be installed directly in other vehicles, it proves that nothing is impossible and that the experiences from this project can be used to implement the same technique in buses, motor homes, caravans, trains and boats.

Anne-Marie Wiklund and Ingvar Björk, who have both travelled with the bus, are completely agreed that more similar vehicles are needed. Ingvar finds that the Swedish bus manufacturers should look at this example and start manufacturing such buses. Of course, it is also a question of money, but Anne-Marie does not believe that that is a big problem.

– Everybody can use the bus, whether they are disabled or not. The fact that it costs more, I believe, will pay for itself in the end. For example, there are always more people who want to come along when they hear that it is with this bus, ends Anne-Marie.

Everybody who has seen the bus, has been impressed by how well thought-through and functional everything is. The bus has for many been the good example of how one can work with accessibility.

Apparently this has made more people book it for travelling. Ever since ”A bus for All” was put into operation, it has been fully booked and made trips in all of Sweden and also into Europe. When we met Berth, he had just been together with Svenska Afasiförbundet (the Swedish Aphasia Union) on a trip to Brussels, where the Euro parliamentarians got a chance to look at the bus.

Berth's hope is that more companies will build accessible buses and other  transport vehicles to enable everybody, irrespective of disability, to have the freedom to travel where, when and how they want.

– We will continue to work on this and create attention until we have reached the goal, Berth Nilsson concludes.

L’attenzione verso coloro per i quali progettiamo i nostri prodotti è stata la nostra guida più importante fin dall’inizio. I nostri progetti riflettono la nostra filosofia nelle attività quotidiane – sempre per migliorare la qualità di vita dei pazienti e degli operatori in tutto il mondo.